Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer suppers

With this heat, I have moved to what I call summer suppers.  We don't have air conditioning and we work outside.  Once we get beastly hot weather we shift to split shifts - getting up early to work in cooler weather and after taking a break and working inside or some shady place like the barn midday, we work outside again once it has cooled down in the late afternoon. 

And with that I minimize oven and cooking time.  This is the season for grilling, pasta dish suppers, shortcakes that take 15 minutes in the oven in lieu of pies that require an hour.

This fourth of July we were invited to a party and we brought zucchini.  Zucchini you say, so what!  Well zucchini shines when grilled.  I cut zucchini lengthwise and then in sixths  - a nice long and substantial piece that wont fall into the coals.  I tossed in powdered ancho pepper and olive oil and salt and pepper.  I think paprika or powdered chipotle for the "spicy set" would also be good.  Ken, our master griller (anything with a fire..) set them on the grill and when he went to plate them up - some were already gone!  They are easy to prepare, easy to grill and a REAL hit.

I do a lot of pasta suppers in the summer.  In winter I am a roaster and slow cook type.  Once the thermometer reads over 80 I shift to pasta - 8 - 12 minutes and what shall I add?  Tonight it is the first of the basil and since we are post scape and pre bulb I have cut some garlic chives and Ken brought home some fresh mozzarella.  So as the pasta cooks, I have rinsed the basil and chives, chopped them and the mozzarella, added olive oil and tossed with my cooked pasta.  Dill and fish like salmon was a great combo last week ( a friend brought us some wonderful salmon and we grilled it one night and put leftovers in salad with dill and homemade mayonnaise).  I did a fennel, chopped olives and home made sausage combo recently - it was a hit.

And for the gluten intolerant there is soba (buckwheat) or quinoa or other non gluten grains.

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